DNC Recap: Michelle's Big Night

Tonight's Tuesday is packed with familiar faces. The first night of the Democratic Convention is being headlined by Michelle Obama, reigning FLOTUS, who's going to attempt to do the same thing Ann tried to do: humanize her husband.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Tonight's Tuesday is packed with familiar faces. The first night of the Democratic Convention is being headlined by Michelle Obama, reigning FLOTUS, who's going to attempt to do the same thing Ann tried to do: humanize her husband. San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro is delivering the keynote address.


11:26p.m.: Highlights: Julian Castro's daughter is the real star of the night. After her dad said her name, she seemed to know she was on TV, and started flipping her lovely long hair.

Kathleen Sebelius made the case for Obamacare. Martin O'Malley accused Mitt Romney of being the Grinch Who Outsourced Christmas. Lilly Ledbetter killed it with her Alabama accent. MSNBC fans got drenched in the rain.

The Obamas are very competitive. Maybe that extends to speeches? Michelle might be better than her husband now, based on all the women she moved to tears.

The first lady's fans arrive in Hooters:

11:20p.m.: CBS says Michelle Obama wrote her speech herself. She worked on it a month.

11:10p.m.: A lot of ladies in the convention hall loved Obama's speech. There were tears.

11:03p.m.: Obama gets emotional towards the end of her speech. She wavers a little here:

"If farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire…if immigrants could leave behind everything they knew for a better life on our shores…if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote…if a generation could defeat a depression, and define greatness for all time…if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his righteous dream…and if proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love…then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream."

And her voice starts cracking here:

"You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still “mom-in-chief.”

My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.

But today, I have none of those worries from four years ago about whether Barack and I were doing what’s best for our girls."

10:53p.m.: Just like Ann Romney, Obama talks about what a normal guy her husband was before he was a famous politician, and how she's a normal mom worn out by normal mom things. Then she says it's about values. "I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are." Huge cheers. "At the end of the day, when it comes time to make that decision, as President, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are."

10:46p.m.: This mustachioed man gets emotional during the first lady's speech:

10:40p.m.: Michelle Obama brings her arms tonight.

As she appears, the Hooters waitress next to me starts screaming, clapping her hands, and shouts "I LOVE THE FIRST LADY"

10:28p.m.: Castro's 3-year-old daughter appears to realize she's on TV and immediately starts mugging.

10:21p.m.: I think Castro's real problem is that he doesn't have the gift of being able to say a line he's rehearsed over and over as if he'd just thought of it.

10:19p.m.: Castro is getting better at his laugh lines as he goes on. "A few months ago [Romney] visited a university in Ohio and gave the students there a little entrepreneurial advice. 'Start a business,' he said. But how? 'Borrow money if you have to from your parents,”'he told them. Gee, why didn’t I think of that?" It was slightly awkward, but people laughed.

"I don’t think Governor Romney meant any harm. I think he’s a good guy. He just has no idea how good he’s had it." More laughs that time.

10:16p.m.: Castro is supposed to be Obama 2004 2.0. But he's not quite hitting that mark.

10:11p.m.: As Castro enters the stage, the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling." You know where we heard this song last? The Republican National Convention. This means either the band is bipartisan or lame music taste is.

10:10p.m.: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is introduced by his brother. They are twins. As you can see:

10:05p.m.: Reader Gchat: "Is O'Malley the Democrat Tim Pawlenty?"

10:03p.m.: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, like almost every other speaker tonight, hits Romney on his foreign bank accounts. "Swiss bank accounts never built an American bridge," he says, etc. etc.

Democrats have coordinated convention-goers' signs with his speech. He says over and over we want to move "Forward! Not back!"

9:52p.m.: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick "It's time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe." That's a nice sentiment, but it's so 2004, when the liberal Internet was furious that few Democrats would say the Iraq war was dumb.

9:50p.m.: Former Democratic National Committee chair Terry MacAuliffe had something very important to say during Ledbetter's speech. Can anyone read lips?

9:43p.m. Lilly Ledbetter says she is better off now than she was four years ago. "What a difference four years makes."

Ledbetter worked at an Alabama tire plant for 19 years before she found out she was making way less than her male coworkers. The Supreme Court found that she would have had to make a complaint six months after she began getting paid, even though she didn't know about the difference for 19 years. "If we hadn't elected President Barack Obama the Supreme Court's wrong-headed interpretation would have been the law of the land." The first act passed under Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It means something, she says, that "the first bill he put his name on has my name on it too."

9:43p.m.: Kal Penn speaks to the youth. He did youth things, like saying they didn't have to put on pants, looking self-conscious, and having an animated face. He said Rahm Emanuel was the mayor, so he couldn't say "any four letter words... but I'm not a mayor..." OMG here comes the hilarious pregnant pause, youth!

"Vote." Very clever.

7:50 p.m.: Joseph Kennedy III is eulogizing his recently deceased uncle, former Massachusets Sen. Ted Kennedy, right now. There's also a video package playing recapping his political career and all of the things he worked for over old black and white photos of him. It's now showing clips of Ted Kennedy debating Mitt Romney in the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race. "Ted Kennedy's passion was born not of some rigid ideology, but of his own experience," says Obama.

Here's the video package: 

8:14 p.m.: Reince Priebus is not pleased about that Kennedy debate clip. "Classless Dems use tribute video of deceased Ted Kennedy to attack Mitt Romney," he tweets.

8:24 p.m.: Maria Ciano is our first former Republican voter on screen. She's a stay-at-home mom who's turning to Obama because of the war on women. Lots of women-in-the-crowd shots while she speaks. Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice America president, followers her. This is the pro-choice programming block. More nodding women shown in the crowd. "We believe rape is rape," gets a huge crowd reaction.

8:32 p.m.: Keenan killed it. The crowd gave her a standing ovation and was chanting as she walked off the stage.

8:35 p.m.: Nate Davis, Director of Veterans Affairs, shouts out a swing state, Ohio, and the recently passed Neil Armstrong in the first few lines of his speech supporting the new G.I. bill that helps them find work after their service.

8:43 p.m.Tammy Duckworth gets U.S.A.! U.S.A.! chants while telling the crowd about her time in Afghanistan. Duckworth lost her legs during service. She attacked Mitt for "ignoring" the troops in his speech last week.

8: 52 p.m.: Independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee gets a good question-and-answer crowd response going over the Pell grants. "Do you only want the children of the rich going to college?" No! He's out here selling Obama to the rest of the independent voters.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.